Written by Harlene Busia, Global Ambassador and MIB student, London Campus Class of 2017.
Have you ever felt that you know you can do it and yet you were cast out by the enemy within you? Was there a time in your life that you regret not joining/participating in an event, a contest, etc.? For me, the answer would be yes.
Hult Prize is one of the biggest events at Hult. What started as a simple idea by a Hult Alumnus, Ahmad Ashkar, has now turned into the world’s biggest competition for social good. I was very much eager to join when it was first introduced on campus. However, I ended up not doing so because I was too naive and my mind was too occupied adjusting as a newbie. I was too overwhelmed with everything such as the classes, the subjects, the people, the culture, the food, the environment and the inconsistency of the weather. Having a non-business undergrad and jumping off to a graduate business school is a real challenge. Despite that, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit within me. It is just that I was blinded by my fears and confusions. These had led me to decide not to join the Hult Prize. However, because of curiosity and eagerness to hear different business ideas, I decided to volunteer during the internal competition.
These are the top 3 most important things I have learned while volunteering for Hult Prize:
1. Going out of my comfort zone
As part of the team, it is our job to cater all the concerns and inquiries of every competing group. Honestly, I’m an introvert and I’m also quite shy. As a volunteer, I have to talk to Hult Prize participants to relay some instructions. I found myself talking to people, especially with my co-volunteers. By the end of the experience, my networking has greatly improved.
“I made mental notes on what I have learned from my peers and used this as on opportunity to think about the best strategies that I could apply in my future presentations.”
2. Improving skills by listening to others
During the event, I was tasked to be the timer. The whole presentation ran for 8 minutes and I have had to give them a cue on the 5th min and on the 7th min. Eight groups presented and each member of the group has their own unique way of presenting. Roughly, an average of 30 people showcased their presentation skills during the Hult Prize internal competition. I was able to capture their techniques, uniqueness, and the nitty-gritty body language in presenting. I made mental notes on what I have learned from my peers and used this as on opportunity to think about the best strategies that I could apply in my future presentations.
“Clear communication, focus, and commitment to your own task, yet being flexible to take other responsibilities are integral dynamics in teamwork.”
3. Growing my circle and fostering relationships
It was my first time to work as a team with the other volunteers of Hult Prize. We were all busy dealing with our own task while supporting and helping each other. I realized that clear communication, focus, and commitment to your own task, yet being flexible to take other responsibilities are integral dynamics in teamwork. Everything went so smooth, fast and easy for us. During breaks, we were able to talk and get to know each other. Now every time we cross paths on campus, we exchange “hi” and “hello” comfortably and I feel like there’s a deep connection between us because of the teamwork that we had.
I was so inspired by my classmates for joining the Hult Prize competition despite our hectic schedule. On top of that, all their business ideas were brilliant. Although I regret not joining, volunteering was another way to satisfy my passion for entrepreneurship. Moreover, hearing the judges’ comments and suggestions have broadened my mind in business analysis and strategy.
“…go out of your shell, grab any opportunity that you have while in Hult, do not belittle yourself, and be part of the community.”
I know that it is a cliché, but this experience has taught me a lot: go out of your shell, grab any opportunity that you have while in Hult, do not belittle yourself, and be part of the community. Regardless of your background and for as long as you have the entrepreneurial spirit, be proactive, just do it and screw it! After the whole event, I feel more involved. It feels that the shell I’ve created was finally broken. “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly”. If you have a brilliant business idea let the world know about it and work on it right away.
Harlene Busia is a Filipino Hult MIB student in the London campus. Her passion for dancing and entrepreneurship led her to start her own dance studio “KITE”. She believes in the importance of connecting with people from different culture and backgrounds to grow, not just in business but also in your personal life.